A Guide To Understanding Equipment Health

A Guide To Understanding Equipment Health


Regardless of conflicting maintenance philosophies around the world, manufacturing operations often call upon maintenance predicated on two separate approaches: preventive or predictive maintenance. While they differ in their actions, their intent is the same. That being guarding the long-term health of any valuable machinery.

Preventive maintenance is certainly the most traditional of the two. It has long been accepted in the industry despite some of its inefficiencies. This strategy is founded on a calendar-oriented maintenance approach, where organizations would schedule checkups on equipment throughout separated intervals of the year. Therein lies the inefficiency, as some pieces of equipment might not require the work that they’re requesting. On the other hand, some pieces of equipment might require more frequent check-ups but are being neglected as a result of this strategy. With enough attention to detail and proper scheduled intervals, this strategy can maintain equipment effectively.

Recent advancements have introduced organizations to a newer alternative to preventive maintenance, though. Predictive maintenance flips everything preventive maintenance attempts to establish on its head. Rather than estimating the optimal maintenance intervals, this approach uses integrated systems to determine maintenance intervals in real time stemming from performance data of each machine. Much more effective in regards to using an organization’s maintenance resources, sure. But much more expensive than their preventive counterpart.

Luckily for the organizations unable to afford these systems, they continue to improve as a result of organizations that can afford them. As implementation has simplified, more organizations have become willing to invest in these systems. As more and more pieces of manufacturing equipment become connected to the Internet of Things, the more potent these systems can become. Their capabilities in understanding the equipment and their failure signs expand as more organizations utilize this maintenance approach. Understanding where a piece of equipment is failing can lead to a much quicker reactionary maintenance schedule and can reduce downtime and thus improve efficiency.

While the advantages for these systems certainly outweigh the costs, organizations are often left without a choice but to default to preventive maintenance. The barriers to entry for these systems are just too high for the average organization in the industry. Not only do they require an enormous amount of initial capital to be invested, they also require a retraining of existing employees. New systems means new and existing employees alike will have to be retrained to work alongside these new systems, which can present an even larger challenge than investment. Without the capital and correct staff, integrating these systems can be impossible. If your organization is ready to take the leap, however, it could greatly benefit.

If your organization’s maintenance strategy has proven to be lacking, it might be worth reconsidering how it could benefit from a change. For more information on some changes that can be made, take a moment to inspect the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.